Anni Schlüter (21) and Malik Dasoo (24) are on a hunger strike. ‘People are not taking the climate crisis seriously so it’s time for more radical action.’
Photo: Luuk Zegers
Schlüter (Environmental Sciences Bachelor’s student) and Dasoo (Master’s student doing International Land and Water Management) are involved in the climate campaign group Extinction Rebellion (XR), which is disappointed in Wageningen University and the municipality.
‘The plan is simple,’ says Dasoo. ‘We stop eating food as of Monday 18 November. We are only allowed water, tea and vitamin pills. During the hunger strike we will have regular check-ups with a doctor and a dietician.’ The students are demanding that the university and the municipality declare a climate and ecological emergency and take appropriate action. Dasoo: ‘They should play a more active role in communicating what is known about climate change. We are demanding that they become carbon neutral by 2025 and that a citizens’ assembly is set up.’
It seems a big step from protest marches to a hunger strike. Schlüter: ‘I don’t think it’s so radical. There are already people suffering from food shortages as a result of climate change. This is a way for us to show solidarity with them.’
Amsterdam became the first municipality to declare a climate emergency. Even so, Dasoo does not necessarily see the city as setting an example for Wageningen. ‘They are turning Amsterdam’s last organic farm into a business park. How seriously are you taking the crisis if you do that?’ Nevertheless, the students still see declaring a climate emergency as the first step. ‘As regards WUR, it’s crazy that the world’s leading life sciences university is not using that status more to speak out.’